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Knowing Millie: A life of smiles, mentorship, kindness, and accomplishment

Mansour Shayegan and Boris Elman share their memories and pictures of Millie.

Published onMar 20, 2018
Knowing Millie: A life of smiles, mentorship, kindness, and accomplishment

Prof. Mansour Shayegan and Dr. Boris Elman
MGM 1976 - 1983

Quotes about Millie from her students and colleagues:

Yearbook, Hunter High School, 1948.

Millie was…

  • Truly as beautiful inside as she was outside

  • “Institute Professor” since 1985 — the highest level of honor and professorship at MIT

  • THE “Queen of Carbon” — Recipient of numerous most prestigious awards in science and humanity

  • An amazing character in never ending Millie stories

  • Someone who touched and changed the lives of many people, including her students and colleagues

  • Always extending her hand and, with that, she gave you her heart

  • …the kind of person where, once you knew Millie, you became part of her “family”

  • …the kind of person where, once you joined MGM, you have also implicitly signed a life contract with her.

She will be remembered forever!

Junior Faculty at MIT, 1967. Photo credit: MIT

December 1, 2016

“Hi Mansour,

I know that you are not a practicing Moslem. But I have students in my group who are practicing Moslems to some limited extent. The lady in this case wears Moslem clothes appropriate for Bangladesh. She and her husband are at MIT on Fridays and they do their MIT work like everyone else. They are very industrious and hardworking graduate students and are always thankful when we comment with suggestions and encouragement on what comes next. Perhaps when they return to Bangladesh they will be more practicing Moslems or not. I am happy to work with them on their theses. They are doing good science work and trying their best to have excellent theses upon graduation. When they return home, they will have a large impact on their country educationally. Treating them with respect and appreciation should be expected. I hope that this will be standard operating procedures. We need international friends.


E-mail to encourage petitioning Pres. Obama to revoke the Moslem Registry before Trump takes office.

Thanksgiving Day "Dresselhaus Concert". (Dresselhaus children: Marianne, Carl, Paul, Eliot.), 1976.
Anna, Mansour, Millie, and Jos. Boston, 1981.
Anna, Jos, Millie, and Yasu Iye, Boston, 1981
Millie and Gene at Boris and Alla’s wedding, 1985.

Dinner with Dresselhaus’s, 1986. Picture by Nobiyuki Kambe.
With Nobiyuki Kambe at the Elmans, 2001.

Millie loved music!
Millie, Gene, and Jean-Paul Issi at the Kavli Award Ceremony, 2012.

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